Vokiškas bėdavojimas: norėtųsi daugiau demokratijos - niekas nepaduoda

Jürgen Habermas SPIEGEL'yje sako, kad Eurozona ir Vokietija indoktrinuotos iliuzijomis, kurių palaikymas nelabai dera su demokratija. Esą derėtų diskutuoti nepopuliarius dalykus rinkimų kampanijos metu, o ne tada, kai jau šaukštai bus po pietų.

Merkel's European Failure: Germany Dozes on a Volcano
In the name of market imperatives to which there is allegedly no alternative, an increasingly isolated German government is enforcing harsh austerity policies in France and those euro-zone countries gripped by crisis. Contrary to reality, it assumes that all members of the European monetary union can make their own decisions regarding budgetary and economic policy. They are expected to "modernize" their administration and economy, and to enhance their competitiveness on their own -- if necessary with aid loans from the rescue fund.

This fiction of sovereignty is convenient for Germany, because it saves the stronger partner from having to take into account the negative effects that some policies can have on weaker partners. It is a situation that European Central Bank President Mario Draghi warned about a year ago, saying that "it is neither sustainable nor legitimate for countries to pursue national policies that can cause economic harm for others" (Die Zeit, Aug. 30, 2012).

It's worth repeating again and again: The suboptimal conditions under which the European Monetary Union operates today are the result of a design flaw, namely that the political union was never completed. That's why pushing the problems onto the shoulders of the crisis-ridden countries with credit financing isn't the answer. The imposition of austerity policies cannot correct the existing economic imbalances in the euro zone. An assimilation of the different levels in productivity in the mid-term could only be expected from a joint, or at least closely coordinated, fiscal, economic and social policy. And if we then, in the course of countervailing policies, don't wish to completely turn into a technocracy, we must ask the public what they think about a democratic core Europe. Wolfgang Schäuble knows this. He says as much in SPIEGEL interviews, which, however, have no consequences for his political behavior.

European policy is in a trap that the political sociologist Claus Offe has sharply illuminated: If we do not want to give up the monetary union, an institutional reform, which takes time, is both necessary and unpopular. This is why politicians who hope to be re-elected are kicking the can down the road [...]

On the other hand, what exactly does "unpopular" mean? If a political solution is sensible, it should be reasonable to ask a democratic electorate to accept it. And when should one do so, if not before a parliamentary election? Anything else is patronizing deception. It is always a mistake to underestimate and ask too little of voters. I consider it a historical failure of the political elites in Germany if they continue to shut their eyes and behave as if it were business as usual -- that is, if they persist in their shortsighted wrangling over the fine print behind closed doors, which is the current approach.

Instead, politicians should come clean with the increasingly restless citizenry, which has never been confronted with substantial European issues. They should take the lead in an inevitably polarizing dispute over alternatives, none of which is available for free. And they should no longer remain silent about the negative redistribution effects, which the "donor countries," in their own long-term interest, must accept in the short and medium term as the only constructive solution to the crisis.
Tekste trūksta problemų masto, atstovaujamų interesų įvardinimo. Tarsi būtų kalbama apie nedidelius reglamento pažeidimus, rutinines politios problemėles.

Kokia žurnalistika, tokia ir politika.
[Papildau] Germans Believe Politicians Are Lying About Crisis, Says Study (blogs.wsj), The Missing Truth in the German Campaign (editors.bloomberg)


Open Europe apie bankų sąjungą

Pro-europinis britų Open Europe institutas (think tank) dar 2013.07.10 skelbė verdiktą kuriamai bankų sąjungai:
The banking union is likely to form an important part of any solution to the eurozone crisis (if one can be found) and the SRM is a vital pillar of this. However, the Commission’s proposal as it stands is likely too small, will not be implemented soon enough and suffers from significant political opposition. It does not therefore have a realistic chance of ending the financial fragmentation plaguing the eurozone. Furthermore, it also stretches the limits of the EU treaties, setting a worrying precedent for the UK and other non-eurozone countries as it poses the risk that single market treaty articles can be used for purely eurozone ends. Even Germany has insisted that such a far-reaching proposal which effectively alters the eurozone architecture requires treaty change, be it now or in the future. The eurozone is yet to face up to the fundamental problem of reconciling the economic realities within the existing legal and political limits – this proposal is another example of attempting to circumvent them in another ad-hoc way. As long as this approach continues uncertainty will plague the eurozone.
New Open Europe flash analysis: Controversial second pillar of banking union looks insufficient to hold up eurozone roof in a crisis

Korektišku tonu ir labai dalykiškai paaiškinta, kad kuriama bankų sąjunga yra tik pirmas netvirtas žingsnis link didelės problemos sprendimo. Dar net neaišku, ar tą mažą, toli gražu problemų nesprendžiantį mechanizmą pavyks sukurti apskritai.

Apie garantinio fondo dydį:
A Single Bank Resolution Fund (SBRF) will be set up and will equal 1% of insured deposits in the banking union, around €55bn. This will be built up by bank contributions over the course of 10 years. How much and how each bank will contribute is yet to be defined and may be set out in Commission delegated acts. This is a worrying precedent since it provides a significant amount of power to set the scope and nature of a financial levy to the Commission without significant oversight.

As of May 2013, bank assets in the EU totalled €45 trillion, while in the eurozone they totalled €32.5 trillion – this is equal to 349% and 342% of GDP respectively.

Clearly, given the size of the banking sector this backstop seems short of being the necessary size. We have previously estimated that a fund would need to be around €500bn to €600bn to provide a viable backstop for a banking sector this size (in line with international comparisons and standards). Importantly, most resolution funds are backed by a credit line or implicit guarantee from a treasury or national central bank. Absent this, serious questions remain over the viability of the fund and the SRB to act swiftly during a crisis.

Under the EC plans “no explicit” role is given to the ESM, the eurozone bailout fund, which now has the ability to directly recapitalise banks using up to €60bn. This provides a further buffer, but given the significant hurdles to its use and the strict conditions, it seems unlikely to be tapped in anything but the worst crisis (as we have already noted).

Bail-in plans bear most of the burden under the banking union: A significant amount of emphasis is being put on the bail-in plans to bear the brunt of a resolution process. It is clear that a lower taxpayer burden is desirable. That said, the knock-on effects could be painful for the eurozone in terms of higher bank funding costs. Furthermore, the potential for contagion in a crisis is clear.

Meanwhile, given the size of these funds relative to national banks, it is unlikely to be sufficient to break the sovereign banking loop, not least because bail-ins on domestically focused banks will have a significant impact on the national economy (still the purview of national governments).
Kiti klausimai (analizės turinys):
1. Where does the power lie?
2. Will the resolution fund be large enough to backstop the €33 trillion eurozone banking sector?
3. Will the SRM be able to put the banking sector on “sounder footing, restore confidence and overcome fragmentation in financial markets”?
4. Will it require treaty change?
5. Germany has come out swinging
6. How could this impact the UK and non-eurozone countries?